Description Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is probably the biggest religious and national landmark in Abu Dhabi. It was initiated and named after the first president and the father the UAE. It has materials from countries such as Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE. More than 3,000 workers and 38 contracting constructed the Mosque. The 22,412 square metre Mosque site is equivalent to around the size of five football fields, and can accommodate 40,960 worshippers 7,126 in the main male prayer hall; 1,960 in the open prayer hall corridors; 980 in the womans prayer hall; 22, 729 in the open courtyard; as well as 682 and 784 in the mosques main hall entrance. The mosque has 82 domes of Moroccan design decorated with white marble. The main dome is 32.8 metres in diameter and 70 metres high, the largest of its kind. The mosque has about 1,000 columns in its outer areas which are clad with more than 20,000 marble panels inlaid with semi-precious stones, including lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone shell and mother of pearl. The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are round in shape and inlaid with mother of pearl. Additionally, the Mosque has four beautiful minarets standing at almost 107 metres each at the four corners of the mosque. The carpet in the main male prayer room is the 'World's Largest Carpet' made by Iran's Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200 weavers, 20 technicians, and 30 workers. The weight of this carpet is 47 tons 35 tons of wool, and 12 tons of cotton. There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet. This mosque also holds the largest chandelier. There are seven imported chandeliers from Germany made from gold-plated copper and fitted with millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.
Mark Sellers, Abu Dhabi, UAE Member Since November 2008 Artist Statement My gallery is mostly photographs but my pride and joy are the artwork you will find dispersed throughout.
My photographic collection has grown to outnumber my artwork. One of the benefits of being a teacher in the Middle East is the shorter distances to interesting places. Plus, part of our benefit package is to get tickets for an annual trip to our home countries or elsewhere, so we have been all over the place. I look for those artistic captures that would look good in my gallery. One of my favorite places for camera fodder is Singapore and Bali. My kids and wife have turned out to have a good photographer's eye as well and I have added some of their best shots. Most of the photographs in my gallery are from the USA (primarily North Atlantic states), Atlantic Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and some European countries.
Though I am very happy with the gallery photograph collection, I am especially proud of my digital artwork. For my artwork, the drawing is the thing. Though some of my pieces are completely digital, most of my artwork is probably different in a number of ways from the artwork you are used to. Usually an artist starts with a prepared canvas and then proceeds to create a painting that fills up that space. My approach has to be a bit opposite of that. I start with a completed drawing, transform it digitally and then have to create a background to fit it.
My art is a bit of a hybrid since it is not completely digital. I have long had a hobby of making simple random pen drawings that I then paint with gel pens. Gel ink painting in my gallery are made from these quickly made spontaneous expressionist doodle drawing. Some of them turn out purely abstract while others end up looking like representations of something.
These spontaneous expressions are scanned, cleaned up, and then transformed and finished digitally. I use a number of software titles to create the effects. The effects of the programs become my paint brushes.
When you look at my gallery, consider that each item takes a minimum of 6 hours to make, usually takes more than 10 and some take more than 30. The drawings go through a range of transformation. Some of them are clearly still drawings. Others are transformed into something new such as metal sculptures. A very small number are morphed beyond recognition. You’ll notice my use of colors.
I tend to use very bright colors and often contrast them, even clash them sometimes. You’ll also notice that every piece seems to very different from the next.
Each piece is a challenge for me to do something different that I have not done yet. I make an effort to make each piece unique. The focus of each piece is the drawing and how I choose to interpret it. Since each drawing has a unique personality and a completely different interpretation, the end product is then going to look different from any other piece I’ve made. This inconsistency ends up showcasing my creatively in a powerful way.
Strangely, I'm an artist 'by accident'. I've always been generally very creative and imaginative, and visual art is something I've recently 'grown into'. I've always loved color. I have no favorite color -- I love them all. I've always doodled to maintain focus. My doodles quickly developed into extremely detailed drawings that have gotten a lot of attention. Some of my most interesting pieces are among those I made early on.
Digital art for me is a way of 'sharing' something interesting of myself that has developed naturally without any formal training.
I am married with three daughters and I am American, but I live and work in the United Arab Emirates as a university English teacher. In a way I am a kind of American export. I have been here since 1998 and before that I was working in Indonesia. My childhood in Minnesota as well as all my experiences in Africa and various Asian countries have greatly influenced my work.